The Scarlets head to Salford City Stadium with a young XV to face Sale Sharks in final pool game of the LV= Cup.
Scarlets and Sale Sharks have met on four occasions since the game went regional in Wales with the results 3:1 in Sale’s favour. Scarlets’ only win (24-23) in the last four encounters between the two sides came at Stradey Park in December 2005.
Having secured a 28-17 victory over London Irish, in last weekend’s home clash, the Scarlets will be looking for a strong performance in the last pool game to continue with the winning momentum as they prepare for an all-important Guinness PRO12 clash against Connacht next weekend.
The West Wales region’s select XV for Saturday afternoon’s clash, and Scarlets’ very own England v Wales fixture, has an average age of 23 and an exciting replacements bench with an average age of just 21. Coach Ioan Cunningham can call on Kristian Phillips, Frazier Climo and Rhodri Williams in the backline to add maturity and experience to the mix.
21-year-old scrum half Rhodri Williams, who has three caps for Wales, will lead the region for the first time.
The Warren brothers, Adam (23) and Aaron (21) line up in the centre and on the wing respectively with Carmarthen Quins’ Iolo Evans and Llanelli’s Kyle Evans at outside centre and on the right wing.
Llanelli RFC loosehead prop Rhys Thomas will make his regional debut alongside Darran Harris and Ben Leung on the front row whilst Aussie newcomer Jack Payne will make his first start for the Scarlets alongside Shaun Jones in the second row. Llanelli’s Roy Osborn is joined by Sion Bennett and Rory Pitman in the back row.
Former Scarlets winger and Wales 7s Commonwealth Games player Lee Williams makes a return to regional colours offering experience from the bench and is joined by exciting Scarlets Academy young guns Josh Middleton, Torin Myhill and Javan Sebastian.
Speaking ahead of the clash against Sale Sharks on Saturday, 7th February kick-off 2pm, Scarlets’ LV= Cup group coach Ioan Cunningham said: “We will have an opportunity on Saturday to see some players in our development pathway and feeder clubs.
“There are a lot of very good players in Carmarthen, Llandovery and Llanelli and Saturday will be about looking at the best of the crop and giving them an opportunity. They all deserve an opportunity to show what they can do at the higher level and that’s what we’re looking to do this week.
“It’s a great challenge for us and will be great for the boys to go up there and play. It’s a tough place to go but we’re really looking forward to it.”
Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Maxim Cobilas, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Viliami Fihaki, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Brady
Scarlets: 15 Kristian Phillips, 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Iolo Evans, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Aaron Warren, 10 Frazier Climo, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Rory Pitman 7 Sion Bennett, 6 Roy Osborn, 5 Shaun Jones, 4 Jack Payne, 3 Ben Leung, 2 Darran Harris, 1 Rhys Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Torin Myhill, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Josh Middleton, 20 Ellis Lloyd, 21 Justin James, 22 Lee Williams, 23 Richard Williams
Date: Saturday 7th February
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Kick-off: 14.00 GMT